DIY: A Valuable Skill Or A Curse?

The Do It Yourself craze is alive and well, and most likely here to stay. With HGTV and the original "Trading Spaces" on TLC fueling our inner creativity, the blogging world is ablaze with diy project ideas, Pottery Barn knock-offs and the frugal frenzy.

There is a never-ending desire to fulfill the  "what can I create from nothing?"  Or from this worn out, peeling paint, half rotten...thing?  Every week we take our latest garage sale purchase, grab the camera and go nuts to our hearts desire!  Sand, click...paint, click....glue, click.... and then post our creations on several weekly diy show-off blog parties. Definitely lots of skill!

It can also be a curse. In order to participate in most diy parties, one must have actually created something from nothing or re-created from another. I've seen so many great ideas created from nothing so I naturally feel the pressure to do the same. Except I'd rather just buy the darn thing! I don't have lots of extra time to re-invent the wheel and if its not unreasonably priced, it's much easier to buy it and hang it up when I get home!

DIY can also get you in over your head if you're not careful and skilled in certain areas. We all read about Sarah's mishap with her door (Thrifty Decor Chic). She just wanted to paint it. I think we all could empathize with her in her simple desire to decorate her living room. But as she kept taking the door apart...and apart....pretty soon it indeed fell apart!

Before kids, I also had a lot more creativity and persistence: I re-upholstered a sofa, switched out fabric on an antique room dividing privacy screen, made pillows, made hair scrunchies.... I had vision. Now I have kids and therefore have less vision, energy and time! But to get my blog out there a great way is to join the parties in which you often need before & after diy projects. Curse.

The same goes for my hub. He is one of those guys that can fix anything. He can do automotive, carpentry, electrical, plumbing... everything! So unfortunately, when he comes home from work he fixes the car. Or the tractor. Or the house. Curse.

Yes, he has skill and we save a lot of money  (people you are all getting ripped off on brake jobs!) however, because he can and does fix everything here, he has no time. His list is endless on house fix-ups since we recently moved into this older home; our cars are older, too.

So in this sense, diy is more of a curse. Yes, we could pay for some things but he'd spend time going over it  with a fine-toothed comb! His motto is "if you want it done right, do it yourself." And because he has the skill we feel it's better for him to do it. We accept our choices.

I also think it's a mind-set. My hub and I are DIY-ers. We were even before this current craze. Yes, its a bit financial (car brakes: $400 vs $40!) and a bit of "I want it the way I want it" and I can't find it in a store. Skill.

So what are your thoughts on the DIY craze?  Whether your view is from blogging or having a skilled partner, there are times when it can be a double-edged sword and the blessing of having the skill gets questioned! I'd love to hear your thoughts.....

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CarliAlice @ GG2Life said...

I respect the DIYers. My dad fixed everything in our house, cars, things that probably were fine in the first place. He even macraméd! I picked up a little of it but not enough to be a DIYer. My hubby is a computer guy and we'd never pay full price for a computer or allow anyone to throw one out. But as for me I just feel bad that I can't do those things and I'm not willing to pay for things when I see that someone made it for pennies. So I have a Plain Jane undecorated house!

Nan @ Playful Decor said...

Wow - your dad macramed! I haven't seen/thought/heard about that in years - back to my childhood! fwiw, I think everyone has some diy in them (even you! ;)) it's whether we had the time and/or energy! Thanks for stopping by!

Sam @ The Junk House said...

I agree completely! I love DIY and craft projects, but sometimes I'd rather just buy the dang thing. Now, I get so caught up into having to make everything I feel guilty buying something new. But it's hard to come up with new projects and finish them each week. By the time I get off work, run errands, exercise, and cook dinner there's only a couple hours left in the day. And some days I just want to lay on the couch instead of sewing or painting.

Nan @ Playful Decor said...

Hi Sam, I'm learning that if I find what I need - even if it's not quite right - I'll buy it! Or if its super expensive and I can make it cheaper. Time is certainly a huge factor in deciding whether to buy or diy!

btw, congrats on buying your own place! I remember feeling such accomplishment when I bought my condo all. by. myself! Thanks for your thoughts!

Jen @ Domesticated Nomad said...

I can definitely relate. Especially on behalf of my husband (and he totally does our brakes too!), but it seems his list never ends.

My stuff is usually more about the icing on the cake, so if I run out of time it matters less. Blogging about it does add a lot of pressure though. But the blessing of blogging about it is that it also keeps me going. Less talking about some day painting something, and more getting off my duff and getting it done (which is why I started blogging it in the first place). It's all definitely a blessing. And it's all definitely a curse.

BluBabesCreate said...

Actually I come from a long line of "Martha's." And I will be blogging about that a little bit later. But I think it's great you guys do your own brakes. Thriftiness is a better quality of life. But still, I do the stuff because I want to, not out of pressure. Adorable blog you've got. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to follow along.

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

I agree - it can be overwhelming. I've been a DIYer all my life. My dad instilled that in all of us at an early age. Then I worked at a craft store which taught me about products.

It never stops! If I could just finish everything I start! I'm a 'starter'. Not so much a 'finisher'. I have boxes and stacks of unfinished projects.

Yep - it can be a curse. (but it's a lot of fun too!)

Assistant said...

I am in complete agreement! I was never into DIY projects and crafts until just recently. I found a new apartment in the city and decided i wanted a complete re-d0. DIY projects can take forever, but they are so rewarding knowing you made it yourself.

I love that lamp. What are the ruffles made of? I actually just made a lamp shade out of coffee filters. I folded about 600 and glued them to a shade, it looks great! Very unique.

Thanks for the post

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